Why You Need Fast Sinking Lines This Spring


As we move in to the new year, we start to see more and more rivers beginning to open. The 10th January sees the first Scottish rivers opening for the season. After the long close season, we are all keen to get back out on to the river in search of some early season action. The ‘springer’ is the ultimate prize for any salmon fisherman.

Early season fishing, although described as spring fishing should really be classed as winter fishing. Rivers are often high, cold and spring salmon are hard to come by – but totally worth the effort!

The water temperatures are low, meaning the fish will be found in different places to where we would expect to find them lying in the warmer summer months. Colder water means a less oxygenated environment. This means the fish are less likely to waste precious energy holding in the faster streams. The fish will be holding in the slower pools and will be deep in the water column.

To give ourselves the best chance of connecting with a spring, we need to present our flies to the zone where the fish are. The easiest way to get the fly to the fish for as long as possible is through the use of sinking lines. These can be either skagits or shooting heads.

All of the main fly lines manufactures make sinking shooting heads such as RIOs tripleD seriesGuidelines 3D shooting heads and the Mackenzie G3 shooting head series. The sink rates of these vary from Intermediate down to fast sinking. The trend now is for a graduated increase in sink rate as you move down to the end of the head. This is to allow for better presentation of the fly and it makes bringing the line up to recast easier than older lines. Although you can add versi-leaders to these lines, they are not required.

The RIO Gamechanger Skagit Max offers a ground breaking new skagit line that we are sure will be a huge success for early season fishing. They offer a skagit line with a varying sink rate. On to these you can add a selection of T-Tips, Mow tips, iMOW or Interchangeable tips to fine tune your flies depth. These will be an easy casting way to get your fly very deep will still being able to manage the swing thanks to the floating section.

Choosing the right sink rate of a fly line will depend on several factors including the current speed, the depth of the pool and the high of the river. The best advice would is to follow your ghillies advice. He is on the water every day and probably knows his beat better than most!

Having a sinking line your armoury can really make a difference and should be in every keen salmon fisherman’s tackle bag and can make the difference when early season fishing.

Tight lines.


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